New figures show consumer spending down in Alberta

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Credit and debit card spending is up in Canada, but dropped in Alberta, according to a report released April 20, 2017.
Ryan Remiorz / THE CANADIAN PRESS

While Canadian credit and debit card spending was up for the first three months of the year, Albertans bucked the trend by using their cards less, a report released Thursday indicates.

Total spending in the country rose 3.5 per cent in the first quarter of 2017 compared to the same period last year, but that figure was down 0.7 per cent in Alberta, according to statistics from Moneris, which handles credit, debit, wireless and online payment services for merchants.

The province’s biggest drops were in clothing, entertainment and alcohol. The sole increase was a two per cent rise in restaurant spending.

Only Newfoundland and Labrador, where overall spending dropped 1.7 per cent, was worse than Alberta. Quebec led the country with 5.5 per cent spending growth.

The modest national rise in spending is in line with other recent economic indicators, such as slight increases in gross domestic product and average weekly earnings in January, the company said in a news release.

It found the popularity of tap-and-pay transactions continues to rise, up about 50 per cent from the first three months of 2016.

Contactless transactions accounted for 38 per cent of all transactions made during the quarter, compared to 27 per cent during the same period last year.

Meanwhile, the country’s low dollar is being credited for a six per cent rise in spending on foreign cards in Canada, with Americans the top spenders, followed by visitors from China, Australia and Mexico.

gkent@postmedia.com

twitter.com/GKentEJ



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April 21, 2017 |

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